President Obama will be awarding 19 individuals with the highest civilian honor in America, ranging from singers to civil rights activists to Oscar-winning actresses.
Tag: Stephen Sondheim (1-8 of 8)
Anna Gunn could very well win her second consecutive Emmy for Breaking Bad in about three weeks on the West Coast—but right now, she’s laying down some East Coast roots in Sex With Strangers, a new drama directed by David Schwimmer. The role is only the actress’s second major New York City stage part (she was in the supporting cast of The Rehearsal opposite Frances Conroy and Roger Rees back on Broadway in 1996), but the reviews for her and costar Billy Magnussen (soon to be seen in the long-awaited film of James Lapine/Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods; by the way, have you seen that spiffy trailer yet?), like the one we’ll provide you below, indicate she’ll get more love from theatergoers than Skyler White ever did as a character.
In other news, 2014 marks a banner year in which both Woody Allen and Mia Farrow scored Broadway shows. His self-penned Bullets Over Broadway will sleep with the fishes on Aug. 24, while Farrow begins a stint in A.R. Gurney’s Love Letters on Sept. 13, her first Broadway appearance since 1980’s Romantic Comedy. And no, I’m not counting her voice work in the megabomb Stephen Sondheim (him again!) play Getting Away With Murder. Letters will feature a rotating cast that will also include Brian Dennehy, Carol Burnett, Alan Alda, Anjelica Huston, Martin Sheen and Game of Thrones‘ Diana Rigg, so it’s kind of a choose-your-own-veteran actor-adventure. And speaking of adventures, this week offered a cornucopia of new ones Off Broadway, including a bloody puppet bacchanal presented by the frontman for Twisted Sister, a new play from a scribe of Girls and Looking on HBO, and the sterling return of one of NYC’s most-emerged playwrights.
Click on the links below for full reviews: READ FULL STORY
There was no way Disney’s upcoming film adaptation of Into the Woods was going to keep every single line, lyric and plot point of Stephen Sondheim’s original musical. And now Sondheim himself has confirmed exactly what we will—or won’t—be seeing.
Playbill reports that Sondheim revealed the changes during a chat with a group of high school arts educators. The subject came up after one teacher brought up Into the Woods, expressing concerns that some of its plot points aren’t appropriate material for students to perform. “Well, you’ll be happy to know that Disney had the same objections,” Sondheim replied. For the record, here’s how he stands on the issue of watering down stage productions—in schools and, presumably, other arenas as well: “Censorship is part of our puritanical ethics, and it’s something that [students are] going to have to deal with,” said Sondheim. “There has to be a point at which you don’t compromise anymore, but that may mean that you won’t get anyone to sell your painting or perform your musical.”
Here are a few bits Sondheim revealed about what’s in store for the forthcoming film adaptation: READ FULL STORY
Is there anything Emma Thompson cannot do? The British actress, snubbed for an Oscar nomination this year for her turn as Mary Poppins writer P.L. Travers in Saving Mr. Banks, proves herself a felonious triple threat as the cannibalistic cook Mrs. Lovett in a five-night-only concert version of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, which opened Wednesday night at Avery Fisher Hall in NYC’s Lincoln Center. (If you’re unable to snag a ticket to one of the remaining performances, fret not: PBS is filming the production for broadcast later this year.)
Thompson sings surprisingly well, she quips, she does pratfalls, she swipes props from members of the New York Philharmonic — including, at one point, conductor Alan Gilbert’s baton. In short, she nearly steals the show out from under her very talented (and admittedly stronger-voiced) co-stars. The cast isn’t exactly full of slouches, either: Audra McDonald brings her booming soprano to the mysterious beggar woman’s “City on Fire,” Broadway vet Jay Armstrong Johnson (Hands on a Hardbody) makes a charming, fresh-voiced suitor to Sweeney’s flax-haired daughter (Chaplin‘s Erin Mackey), and the Welsh opera star Bryn Terfel delivers his strong, rich baritone to the title role and proves himself a suitably creepy leading man. I could imagine Tonys all around if this remarkable cast managed to slice a space into their schedules for a Broadway run. READ FULL STORY
'Six by Sondheim': Darren Criss, Jeremy Jordan, and America Ferrera sing 'Merrily We Roll Along' -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO
Theater fans, Gleeks and Ugly Betty mourners (I’m all three), get ready to lose your minds!
On Dec. 9, HBO premieres Six by Sondheim, a brand-new documentary that profiles arguably the greatest composer in contemporary musical theater, Stephen Sondheim. Directed by frequent Sondheim collaborator James Lapine and produced by former Times theater critic Frank Rich, the doc takes a deep look at six of Sondheim’s greatest songs, deconstructed and defined by Sondheim himself. READ FULL STORY
One of the reliefs of moviegoing is that you only have a one in a million chance of being in a theater with Madonna. But another is that if you’re a rabid stage fan and happen to constantly miss all the great stuff being produced in the U.K., Fathom Events is giving viewers a chance to see some of their most acclaimed works in a comfy movie house for only a fraction of the price, and the West End’s celebrated revival of the 1981 Stephen Sondheim/George Furth musical Merrily We Roll Along will be rollin’ along to about 460 U.S. theaters Oct. 23.
Long beloved by Sondheim’s devoted fans, it tells a tale of a famous songwriter/producer at the height of his success and explores the story chronologically backward, concluding with his and his pals’ humble beginnings. It may have proved too ambitious for its time (the original Broadway production reportedly had many walkouts, and only played 16 non-preview performances); the musical is now considered a treasure by musical theater fans and critics alike.
Below, EW has two exclusive clips from the 2012 London Menier Chocolate Factory production — starring Jenna Russell, Mark Umbers, Josefina Gabrielle, and Damian Humbley — which prove plenty promising. And if you like these, Fathom Events is promising more stage-to-screen transfers to come, so keep an eye out! For more information on ticketing and venues for Merrily We Roll Along, visit Fathom Events’ website.
Click below for a clip of “He’s Only a Boy” (performed by Ms. Gabrielle):
READ FULL STORY
Last week, we learned that Anna Kendrick is in talks to play Cinderella in the big-screen adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods — a fitting choice, given the actress’ musical-theater (and Sondheim-specific) roots.
Pitch Perfect and the song “Cups” (which is at No. 18 on the Billboard Hot 100 a full nine months after the movie’s debut) introduced Kendrick’s singing skills to the mainstream, but she’s been perfecting those pipes for 15 years. The actress earned a Tony nomination for her first big role, as Dinah in Broadway’s High Society, when she was just 12 years old — the third-youngest nominee ever. She also played Fredrika in a New York City Opera production of Sondheim’s A Little Night Music in 2003.
But the real musical highlight came in her first film role, in 2003’s Camp, when a 17-year-old Kendrick stole the movie with a way-beyond-her-years rendition of the Company classic “The Ladies Who Lunch” — yet another Sondheim masterpiece. At the movie’s musical-theater summer camp, Kendrick is the nerdy Fritzi, who desperately attempts to befriend confident bad girl Jill only to exact musical (and medical) revenge on the queen bee instead, via some Woolite poured in her Snapple (seriously). See the magic below:
READ FULL STORY
The theater season has just begun, but it’s already claimed its first Broadway casualty. Producers scuttled plans for a musical version of the Daphne du Maurier novel Rebecca, which was to open this fall, but failed to secure all of its $12 million budget amid reports of phantom investors, sabotage, and fateful producer inexperience. Not all of the drama was backstage, however, with several high-profile productions making their debuts with (mostly) mixed critical response:
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